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Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of SAIBA (right) during the 47th CFO World Congress in Brazil

In an effort to restore the credibility and professionalism of the finance function the CFO communities in South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Morocco signed a multilateral agreement to redefine the role of the CFO.

This comes after allegations and revelations of corruption involving state owned entities and large private companies have made recent headlines.

The Southern African Institute of Business Accountants (SAIBA) says the so called “Guptagate” has thrown the spotlight on the role of CFOs in fighting and preventing corruption.

The agreement, which was signed last week Friday in Sao Paulo establishes a new global designation for finance executives; a global competency framework for finance executives; a learning pathway to qualify as a global CFO and; a diagnostic tool to help employers verify the skills and ability of an applicant prior to appointment as CFO.

In addition, CFOs in South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Morocco will be recognised in all countries accepting the new global designation.

The new designations adopted by the signatory countries are the CFO(SA) through SAIBA, CFO(BR) through the Instituto Brasileiro de Executivos de Financas (IBEF) in Brazil, CFO (MA) through the Association Marocaine des Metiers de la Finance et de la Gestion (AMMFG) in Morocco and the CFO (AR) through the Instituto Argentino de Executivos de Finanzas (IAEF) in Argentina.

These countries are all members of the global body for CFOs – International Association of Finance Executives (IAFEI). IAFEI has 22 member countries and more that 22000 CFOs.

“We hope that through this initiative we will be able to increase the mobility of CFOs to allow them to pursue their careers in any country they wish, but more importantly we want to strengthen the role of the CFO to help drive company performance but at the same time act in the public interest” says Nicolaas van Wyk, Regional President: Africa of IAFEI and CEO of SAIBA, the custodian and issuer of the CFO designation.

He says establishing a global competency and ethical standard for CFOs will aid law makers and regulators in the fight against corruption that is threatening to destabilise the world economy.